"I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I'm arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me." - Meryl Streep
There are always going to be people in your life, my life, anyone's life that are characterized as the walkers, the abandoners, the people who walk away. Sometimes they do it with such a silence that you can't even hear a pinch of the soles of their shoes stepping away from you on a creaking wood floor, and sometimes, there's a huge lead up to the inevitable silence and awkwardness that follows, a supernova of miscommunication, receding effort, and hurt. I never really pictured myself as the type of person to do that; I always thought I cared too much about the people I love, and from personal experience, did not believe that if you truly loved someone, you just....stopped talking to them. Stopped seeing them. Stopped being a physical and emotional presence in their life. No matter what, the motto to me was aways, "Never give up on the things you love."
College made me realize though that the relationships that really end up leaving marks on you are always the ones stuck in the grey areas. Oftentimes you wonder in these relationships how you got to these feelings of discontent and even anger towards this person that you love, while you still love them, and it becomes really confusing all of a sudden. Especially when it gets to the point where all of a sudden, you're not friends anymore, or you're not dating anymore. How did you go from not being able to stop talking to each other to....eternal silence? Coming from the girl who was always left, I never understood, and I always would stay up and question everything I did wrong, how I could've changed myself and molded myself to get the person to want to stay, how I could fix this and get them back in my life.
This was me when I first went away to college. Now, I don't really care when another person and I grow away from each other. Maybe its some sick narcicissm instilled in me from being hurt, or maybe I've just grown enough to pick out and separate between the people who are going to make an effort, the people who are my friends but probably won't be around forever, and the people I don't really care if I talk to again or not.
You know when people tell you "people in your life that don't help you grow or improve, you can cut them out because you don't need them"? And how usually you have at least one person on your mind when someone is giving you these kinds of anecdotes? (unless you're at a really great point in life where you don't feel the need to do that, in which case, serious kudos to you, you've got something figured out that I don't or you must probably be entering your late twenties.) Throughout college, I've had two people that came to mind when being repeatedly told this. One was a poisionous friendship, and one was a stagnant one. The first one was probably the hardest to let go of because not only did I love her dearly and wanted to disprove her pessimistic view of people always leaving, but I also lived with her. However, we also fought all the time; she was never happy with me, and even though some of the best times I had in college were with her....some of the worst were with her too. It was becoming a cycle of building up to a fight, fighting, the fight getting really nasty, making up through several tears and "I love you, let's not do this again"'s, and then maybe three great days where we'd get along perfectly. Then the cycle would start all over again. I did probably contribute an issue or two, in fact I definitiely did, but honestly, even if you love someone, some people are just not meant to be together, and some people are just not meant to be friends. She was a beautiful person, rough around the edges, but our ways of displaying love did not match up with each other. I still love her and hope the best for her...but, there just gets to be a point where there is too much damage and not enough energy to repair from both sides. The cycle was wearing out, and I was unhappy and exhausted. Tired, I prayed continuously, and an answer eventually came to me. Finally I had to cut ties, and it wasn't pretty. There was something beyond a supernova that happened, it was like an atomic bomb went off in a black hole (if that was even possible.) I was expecting it, but it didn't make it easier to deal with.
Even after all of that though, I still never really understood why people would cut me out of their lives, especially if we didn't have a cycle of fighting, or anger, or such. Then friend number two came around, the stagnant one. This one is the true biter of all friendships, because half the time you don't even know if you should cut them out or not, but you know there's always been something "off." I realized a few months into this friendship that this was probably why people cut me off or distanced themselves from me, because I was the stagnant friend in those friendships. I realized I didn't really care about this friend after a while, I just kept her around because of a sheer need to have someone close by, which was selfish on my part. Someone can have a beautiful soul, but that doesn't mean its meant to be shared with you. I didn't feel like she exuded enough of a personality to bounce off of my weirdness, and it got to the point earlier on this year when I felt bored hanging out with her, I didn't feel challenged or convicted or encouraged to do more with my life after seeing her, like I did with most of my other friends. If anything, hanging out with her felt like an endless chore, as awful as that sounds. However, as much as I debated cutting her out, toying with the idea for months on end, I kept stopping myself. "But she did this for me..." "She was here for me when.." it seemed like I had a huge cesspool of excuses ridden from guilt that kept me from doing it. Then it hit me one day after reconnecting with someone I had had a falling out with....all of those excuses and statements? Past tense. To simply put it, I'm going to look like a huge bitch for doing this, and maybe I am a huge bitch, but I'm not happy when I'm around her.
Before distancing myself from that friend, I had held a little bit of dissapointment towards the people who left, the people who never said goodbye, the people who walked out of my life. Yet, after distancing myself this time, not only did I feel relief, but I also finally understood the people that walked away. Most of the time, it really doesn't have to do with you (sometimes it does, and I will admit I have been a shithead to certain people and that they probably reached their breaking point with me. It happens.) Sometimes people let you go because they're actually trying to not be selfish, the opposite of what I thought all along. They let go because they realize they can't return the insurmountable love you give them, and they want you to find someone who not only returns it, but matches it.
So yes, the past year or so, I've become the girl who leaves before she is left.
I've joined the ranks of the people I despised most in my teenage years.
And you know what? I don't handle it well sometimes, but I accept it. You're probably going to think I'm a huge bitch after reading this, and I accept the backlash. It's fine. I'm getting too old and impatient to spend time around those who I don't want to give 100 percent of my love to. I have nothing left to give to the empty souls of this world.
So, in conclusion, sometimes people don't leave out of hatred or selfishness. But out of love. It's a cliche, but life really is too short to be spending time with those who don't want to be around. I've come to realize, despite my earlier thoughts, I don't cut people out because I want to be cold hearted, but because my heart is tired and wrung from giving out too much or too still from giving out so little. When people leave from now on, I'll let them walk out the door in peace.
It may hurt for a while, like a Band-Aid being ripped off the surface of my skin, but at least now I understand.
"It's hard to watch the game we make of love, like everyone's playing checkers
Whenever they get out without a broken heart
Just to be clear
I don't want to get out
without a broken heart
I intend to leave this life
there's gonna have to be
A thousand separate heavens
For all of my flying parts"
- Andrea Gibson